Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to submit to Malacañang the results of its investigation on the birthday party for National Capital Region Police Office’s (NCRPO’s) chief Major General Debold Sinas, who was criticized for alleged violations of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Medialdea issued the order to the PNP-Internal Affairs Service, now looking into the possible violation of quarantine protocols, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual briefing.
“I think it is a significant development na no less than the Executive Secretary has ordered the investigation and the results be forwarded to his office,” Roque said.
“Hayaan na muna nating umusad ang imbestigasyon bago natin pag-usapan ang parusa,” said Roque.
A parallel investigation is also being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Sinas’ mañanita drew flak from netizens after photos were posted on the official Facebook page of NCRPO Public Information Office (PIO), showing that social distancing was not observed during the birthday party.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año defended Sinas, saying that what transpired was a mañanita or a tradition among the military and police where the subordinates greet their commander celebrating a birthday at the early break of the morning.
Ano said the gathering may not be considered as a party but it was still uncalled for amid the COVID-19 situation in the country.
Sinas has since apologized to the public but claimed that some of the photos circulating online were edited and grabbed from old posts.
Sinas refused to go on leave while the probe is ongoing. “Unless otherwise instructed by the chief PNP (Philippine National Police) or the President, I don’t think so. Hintayin ko na lang po ang results ng investigation,” Sinas said.
Sinas also maintained that there was nothing wrong with the mañanita, reiterating that social distancing was observed by police officials who attended the event./Stacy Ang